Community

Community

by Tamara Johnston on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 9:48am
I have come to realize that after living for 51 years and trying to figure out my purpose, what I long to accomplish in my life time is all centered around community.

As a teen in the 70’s, I was very active in church. In my early 20’s I found myself disenfranchised with church environment because I did not believe it was right for any community (church, religion) to force ” believe as we say” doctrine.

In the decades that followed, I became busy with take care of myself and my family mentality. Raising my boys, furthering my education and career. All about me, me, me with little thought about community.

Since my mid 40’s, I have been searching for something. Not knowing what I was searching for, or how to find it. I just knew that I was missing something vital.

I walked away from my career in network management. Swore off ever working on servers or personal computers. Adjusted to making 1/3 of previous annual salary by taking positions that allowed me to show up, do my assigned tasks and go home. No stress.

Still, I had an overwhelming sense that something was missing in my life.

I found the knitting community about 5 years ago. I decided I needed a hobby to fill the sense of loss I had been carrying since my teen years. While I love that I am able to take yarn and produce useful and most of the time beautiful objects, it is the community of knitters I treasure the most. Ravelry, knitting retreats and local knit nights with a few new friends all quenched my thirst for community.

Recent weather disasters in my state of Missouri offered me the chance to help others in need. I never would have guessed that picking up debris after tornadoes would in turn lead me to find what was missing in my life… Community!

I have told my boys several times that I wish that I would have joined the PeaceCorp when I was in my early 20’s. AmeriCorp was not around in my 20’s, but how I wish that it had been, and that I would have had the courage to join. All the while, encouraging them to join. (We always want our children to have more than we had or to not have the regrets on missed opportunities from our early adult life, don’t we?)

I will be 51 years old in a few days. I am so excited to report that I now know what I want and need to do. Seek out community. Volunteer. Be selfless, remove the “it’s all about me taking care of myself and my family” attitude!! My most rewarding days are ahead of me!

I plan to start here:
http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?l=Chesterfield%2C+MO%2C+United+States&k

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